Sourdough masterclass with Good in Bread

Monday, 11 October 2021

I love baking. Fairy cakes, banana bread, Tuesday nights watching bake off, although the more I bake, the more apparent it becomes that I'm not particularly good at it. 

Keep it simple and I'm fine but move on to more intricate recipes like sourdough and I wouldn't know where to start.

Sourdough became the 'it' thing to eat a few years ago; avotoast has never looked back and once people realised that they were going to have alot of time on their hands last year, it became one of the 'it' things to bake.

I know it takes a very long time because I have just successfully baked (and immediately eaten) my first two loaves.

I definitely cannot take all the credit. The guys at Good in Bread sent me all the stuff I needed, a simple recipe and they even set up a Zoom call with Emily (who founded the brand) who talked me through the process step by step and let me tell you, sourdough is no easy feat.

With one step unsupervised, I did manage to burn the first loaf (it was a little extra crusty) but the 2nd was perfect and a very proud moment. I try to avoid bread at home where I can but there was no resisting a loaf that I had baked fresh myself. We had bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days last week. 

Good in Bread is an artisan sourdough subscription service which means it's now possible to have a freshly baked loaf delivered to my London door step on a bi-weekly basis.


Pizza Making at Bunga Bunga Battersea

Monday, 4 October 2021

If like me, you're not one to wait for the weekend, then Bunga Bunga is the place for a little midweek fun.

They've got party pizza venues in both southwest London and Covent garden but my local, in Battersea closes on a Wednesday night in favour of educating the locals on the art of pizza making.

We were the first ones in and quickly made ourselves comfortable. I'd never been to Bunga Bunga before but I already knew I'd like to come back within ten minutes of arriving. Even empty, I loved the vibe; and the quirky and cool Italian decor. I just knew it was going to be a fun place to spend a Friday.

I decided that it was not going to be a quiet Wednesday night so after our welcome drinks, we ordered a bottle of prosecco which arrived just in time to be enjoyed with a plate of antipasti - the perfect accompaniment!

The classes are £35pp and they have a bottomless option for £55 but for the amount I drink, bottomless is hardly ever worth it so a bottle between the two of us was great! 

Nathan was our awesome host for the evening and he and Chef John made everyone feel very comfortable. They did a great job in getting everyone involved whilst bouncing off each other all evening - they were a huge part of why we had such a great time.

After watching how it was done, we donned our aprons and had a go at making the dough ourselves. Quite a simple task but alot of fun to get stuck in to plus the simplicity meant I had one hand spare to drink with whilst I mixed the pre-measured ingredients with the other, an impressive skill I know. 

Whilst our dough was bagged up ready to take home, we were given a pre-proved ball to stretch into shape and smother with toppings.

I swapped David his veg for my pepperoni and off they went to the oven - only to be demolished within seconds of coming out.

Somehow our table won 'best dough' (must have been my one handed dough rolling) which meant a round of shots to finish the an already super evening!

The pizza making was not particularly skillful or insightful but this was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable cookery classes I've ever done. We were first to arrive and last to leave so that should tell you something.

Swingers Crazy Golf, West End

Thursday, 30 September 2021

I was one of Swingers very first customers when they opened back in 2014. 

Apparently, that 'pop-up in a leaky warehouse in Shoreditch' was their first venture.  I remember heading there for an event and leaky warehouse does it justice; it was kinda dark and a little cramped.

Fast forward to 2021 and Swingers crazy golf has come a long way.

Last week, I was invited down to their newest London venue, which is just behind Oxford Circus.

I love central London, there's always something fun going on and this is no different!

These sort of activity bars are a very welcome new addition to London's nightlife scene. They mean that you can do something substantial with your evening but still enjoy all the fun of meeting up for a drink at a bar. 

The fun atmosphere and banging music made Swingers, almost a bar in its own right.

We dumped our stuff in the cloakroom and found a comfy spot with great people watching views. There were all sorts - we saw groups of friends, date nights and even a stag do.

Having cycled there, I was starving so we had a quick look at the menus from the four foodie pop ups and I went straight with a 'Smokey Robinson' from Patty&Bun and we got a couple of cocktails.

David ordered a 14" slice of pizza, which was inhaled and swiftly followed by also a 'Smokey Robinson.' 

Clearly they were very good. 

The hour beforehand disappeared; that in itself was a load of fun so I would recommend getting there with enough time before or after your booking to take advantage of it.

When 7.30 finally rolled around, we grabbed what was left of our cocktails and made our way over to the course.

There are two bespoke crazy golf courses at this Swingers; and two in the city. We did the Helter Skelter one and after the night we had, I'm excited to go back and try the other. 

The course was super fun, each hole had its own quirk. My favourite was hole 3 because it moved and I very much enjoyed watching the less co-ordinated of people give it a go; and also number 4 which had a loop de loop.

Crazy golf wasn't my idea of a big night out but Swingers is definitely worthy of your Friday night. I'm sure we'll be back very soon.


Honest Burgers Limited edition Special: The BUFFALO BLUE burger

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

I try to keep my Mondays quiet but with only a few days left to try Honest burger's limited-edition BUFFALO BLUE burger, I made an exception.

The Buffalo Blue is their 2nd second collaboration with Wingmans after the Thai fried chicken one went down so well.

Served in a shiny bun, a classic Honest beef patty (cooked perfectly pink) and smoked bacon build the foundations - nothing too extravagant about that, although it was delicious.

The main event however, is very exciting.

Blacksticks Blue cheese, which comes from a family-run farmhouse and a generous helping of Wingman's award-winning buffalo sauce smothered on top elevate the flavour of this burger to something completely new.

I understand I may be a little late on this discovery, but adding blue cheese to a burger is genius. 

It takes the taste to a whole other level. 

Plus, it was oozing out in every direction which is only ever a good thing.

As for the buffalo sauce, all I'm saying is I can see why it's won awards. It was very flavourful and pulled it all together. It tasted great, not only in the burger but also all over the rosemary chips it had dripped on.

Get down to your local Honest Burger before October 4th to try it for yourself!


How to prevent sore eyes on holiday | #MeMyselfAndEye

Monday, 20 September 2021

After 21 months in the UK (have I mentioned that already) I finally went abroad last month - what a time to be alive. 

Travel is one of the most important parts of my life and I forgot the joy that it brings me. I also forgot alot of other things about traveling. I forgot to barter before I jumped in a taxi, I almost forgot to buy travel insurance before I left and I forgot how it affects my eyes. 

As an infrequent contact lens wearer, a holiday is usually a bit of a shock for my eyes because all of a sudden, I am putting them in for hours on end, every day. Having toughed through a few days, I soon started making a bit more effort to give my eyes a rest.

It is so important to take our eye health seriously and with National Eye Health Week this week, I have put together some tips for how to look after your eyes when you travel. 

Eye drops for the plane

We all know the airflow on planes is not good for our body and with low humidity levels on board, dry eyes are a given.

Eye drops help with moisture levels and hydration plus they come in tiny aeroplane safe bottles so they're easy to travel with. Keep one in your bag and use it when needed to give your eyes a refresh.

I suffer with dry eyes quite a bit; in the air and otherwise. It's a real pain when I have a long day with my lenses, but I have started to use Thealoz Duo eye drops and find them great for giving my sore eyes some instant re-hydration.

Don't forget to drink water 

If you're like me, then when you go on holiday, you choose somewhere hot. In the heat, you're much more likely to get dehydrated (alcohol consumption doesn't help) and eyes don't take well to that so it's important to drink an adequate amount of water each day.

Obviously, this is also important for your overall health, but dehydrated eyes could end up red and sore or blurring your vision. It will also cause contact lenses to dry up and become very uncomfortable; I talk from experience.

Take your make up off

Yes, it does seem that I come rolling in at 3am a little more often when I'm on holiday but that is no excuse to not wash my face before I get into bed.

I'm great at remembering to take my lenses out but anything after that seems to be forgotten until I wake up the next morning with black smudges all over my face and more often than not, clumps of mascara stuck to my lashes.

This is not smart and can be really irritating for both the eye and my lashes.

Don’t forget your glasses

This is one of my biggest holiday checks; phone, passport, glasses.

At best, you'll be straining your eyes and at worst, you'll be almost blind, like me. I literally cannot see a thing without them so my glasses are not something I can afford to forget.

Take opportunities like lazy breakfasts or the hours getting ready before going for dinner to wear your glasses and give your eyes a rest.

Keep your eyes clean

Not only were the roads much dustier where we were in Mykonos but getting around by quad bike meant that I'd often have all sorts of bits flying in my eyes. The same sort of thing can happen at the beach so it's important to take the time to rinse your face and wash your eyes when you can. 
These Blephaclean daily eyelid cleanisng wipes are perfect as they're ready to use and small enough to stick in my bra if I went out without a bag.


Wear Sunglasses

Clearly sunglasses make everyone look better but that is not their sole purpose. Obviously, we should be wearing sunglasses to protect our eyes from harmful rays from the sun.

I have a funny relationship with sunglasses. I don't enjoy wearing them because it meant putting my lenses in first although I put up with it on most days. 

Finally, having had enough of the problem, I came home to a new pair of prescription sunglasses. 

Problem solved, forever.

I got them from which is where my everyday glasses came from and I am very pleased with them. We have had some particularly hot days back in London so at least they're getting their use!

National Eye Health Week runs from 20-27th September. Take the opportunity to do some research and make sure you are looking after your eyes as best you can.


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